Please sign in to post.

Transportation and ticket questions

My husband and I will be traveling throughout E gland in early June. I've been looking at tickets and reading about railcards, but I still have a few questions I hope you can help me with. I'm planning to purchase a Two Together railcard. Here's the Travel itinerary:
Sunday - Arrive at HTR at 8 30 am. Bus to Bath. I know we could go to Paddington and take a train from there to save a little time, but the bus is more convenient. Do I need to buy advance tickets?
Tuesday- Train from Bath to Oxford. Advance tickets, or no?
Friday - Train from Oxford to Liverpool. Using the railcard will save us about 60 GBP, so that trip will more than pay for the railcard! I assume advance tickets are the best.
Sunday - Train from Liverpool to London. Last time I checked tickets weren't available yet. Advance as well?
London - We'll be taking the tube almost every day (5 days). Regular Oyster card?
Train to Windsor for a day trip. We're staying in Earl's Court. Should we take the tube to a train station? Waterloo? I don't know if trains can be accessed from tube stations. Do I need to buy advance tickets for that?
Also, if I buy advance tickets, how do I get them? Do they mail them, or can I get electronic tickets on my phone?
Thanks in advance for help!

Posted by
4825 posts

Particularly as all your journeys are singles and not returns Advance tickets are going to much cheaper than in the day.

If you take the coach to Bath you can book in advance but you should consider paying an additional £5 for "Change & Go" which means you can catch any coach 12 hours before or after the booked time. Good for on the day plane delays but also these day for flight time changes that may occur before by the airline.

If not looking for any discounts to be applied, don't bother with Oyster cards if you have a use a contactless payment card.

Windsor: take District Line to Paddington, buy off peak day returns with Two Together card to Windsor & Eton Central. Take GWR train to Slough, change there for Windsor.

You can get all the rail tickets on phone, store in Google/Apple wallet.

Posted by
353 posts

If you haven't already done so and need information on train travel in England, go to the Bible ... www.seat61.com

Posted by
47 posts

Thank you for the specific information! I have looked at both websites - they are very informative!

Posted by
28826 posts

If you haven't noticed, for your trip to Liverpool, once you reach Birmingham New Street from Oxford there are two quite different train companies doing the New Street via Crewe to Liverpool Lime Street run. (You will be on Cross Country from Oxford to Birmingham).

These are Avanti West Coast who are the higher speed (up to 125 mph), fewer stops, fancier trains with the big price tags, and London Northwestern Railway who are the commuter trains with plainer carriages (although with bigger windows which line up with the seats better so actually better visibility), slightly slower trains (only up to 110 mph), and more stops on the way so a slower overall time, but which can be much cheaper.

The question is, do you want to save money or time more? (Rhetorical).

The same situation Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston. On London Northwestern you may have a change at Crewe or Stafford to avoid Birmingham and have the faster Trent Valley Line to London.

(I used to work that line and worked for LNWR and its predecessors).

Posted by
387 posts

Don't understand your comment re the Oxford to LIverpool journey. You should be able to two Advance Single Tickets for much less than £90 each

Posted by
47 posts

I signed up for email alerts when tickets from Liverpool to London become available.
Do debit cards work as contactless cards? What makes a card contactless? Sorry if that's a dumb question!!

Posted by
28826 posts

you can tell a contactless (maybe you think of it as tap or swipe) by the wave symbol on it.

Like this

Fairly clumsy link I know...

Posted by
274 posts

Darla, if your card doesn't have the contactless logo, you should be able to request a new card w/ contactless capabilities from your credit card company.

Posted by
22 posts

"If not looking for any discounts to be applied, don't bother with Oyster cards if you have a use a contactless payment card."

But don't Oyster cards have a daily "cap" that, once you reach it, any rides after that would be free? I'm just learning about various travel cards for London so maybe I didn't read that right...

We'll be in London for four days and will use tube/tram/Thameslink/Southeastern Rail/bus/Thames Clipper. Looks like Oyster card will cover all of these, yes?

Are there any tourist travel cards (for a four-day period) that actually save money over regular tickets?

Posted by
387 posts

The daily cap also is applied when using contactless cards
In fact some journey combinations can work out cheaper using contactless due to the way the card is worked out

Posted by
119 posts

@Jean:
We'll be in London for four days and will use tube/tram/Thameslink/Southeastern Rail/bus/Thames Clipper. Looks like Oyster card will cover all of these, yes?
**
Not necessarily, see boundary map below, on National Rail routes and you mention two, these have a cut off point, these are also announced on the train “oyster is not valid beyond this station” eg beyond Watford Junction, or beyond Gatwick airport, or some destinations eg London Paddington to Reading, or Luton airport, oyster is not valid at all as shown on the map below, so use conventional paper ticket/mobile device/contactless credit/debit card

On Thames Clipper rides there are card readers, but journeys are not included in the daily cap.

https://content.tfl.gov.uk/london-rail-and-tube-services-map.pdf